In 1978, José Ramón Padilla was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping a child in the Central Valley mountain town of Coronado. After his release he struck again, and in 1989 was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old boy in Nicoya, on the northwestern Pacific coast, according to the daily La Nación.
On Aug. 1, 19 years from the day the boy in Nicoya disappeared, Padilla was arrested again, this time for allegedly raping a 7-year-old boy in Escazú, a suburb southwest of San José. According the daily, the child told officials that Padilla, 68, invited him to collect limes in an abandoned lot, and sexually abused the child there.
Padilla, who worked as a private guard, has been ordered to four months preventive detention. Authorities suspect he may have abused other children as well, La Nación reported.